Beloved Feast Keepers in Yeshua!
September 2021 is a unique month because it coincides with the biblical, Hebraic, lunar calendar in such a way that all the fall feasts of the Lord occur in one solar month. (Unusually, they are split between September and October.) This means that September can be considered a “holy month,” a month of appointments with the God of the Bible These sacred appointments, known as moadim in Hebrew (mow-ah-DEEM), singular moed (mow-ED), are always observed during the 7th or holiest month on the Hebrew calendar, the month of Tishrei, which begins this year on September 7, 2021. It is interesting to note that September 7, 2021, is also the beginning of the next Sabbatical year (shemitah, sh’me-TAH) which occurs every seventh year. The Lord states that, for this year, all Jewish-owned land in Israel is not to be worked but left fallow. Anything that grows there should be given away. Also, at the end of the year, all debts are to be forgiven.
While seeking the Lord, on a retreat with Him in Amish country at the end of June, I heard the Lord say to me: “Proclaim this September, the Month of the King” (King in Hebrew is Melech, MEHlekh). This made perfect sense to me since Yeshua is our soon-coming King, the King of kings, our Bridegroom-King, our Messiah-King. Next, I sensed an intriguing topic for this newsletter when I asked the Lord what He wanted me to write about. The Holy Spirit said: “Something Old. Something New. Something Borrowed. Something Blue.” Very bridal. I told the Lord the same thing I have said to Him many times: “Abba, You are SO creative!” Jewels to adorn Yeshua’s bride…
Many of the old Jewish Jewels newsletters about the Fall Feasts of Israel expound on the concept of God as King, both in traditional Judaism and Christianity. His kingship is particularly emphasized during Yom Teruah (also known as Rosh HaShanah), the biblical Feast of Trumpets that begins this year on the eve of September 6, 2021. During this feast, God is addressed as Avinu Malkeinu (AhVEE-new Mahl-KAY-new), Our Father, Our King. In searching the Jewish Jewels archives on our website, I found some “old” thoughts that bear repeating.
The Messiah-King: The concept of a Messiah-King is deeply rooted in the Hebrew scriptures. The rabbis have traditionally perceived the Messiah in Psalm 45, when the psalmist says, “I recite my composition concerning the King,” and “the people shall praise You forever and ever” (vs. 1, 17). Psalm 2 is considered a Messianic psalm by both Jewish and Christian scholars because it speaks of the “anointed one,” the Mashiach (Mah-SHEE-akh), the Messiah. The God of Israel proclaims, “Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” (vs. 6, 7). “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” (vs. 12).
The missing link in traditional Jewish understanding is the fulfillment by Yeshua of Nazareth of these psalms. He is the Jewish Messiah-King, the One referred to in Psalm 40:7-8, “…Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.”
Yeshua HaMashiach was and is the King of the Jews, King of Israel, King of righteousness, King of peace, King of glory, the King eternal, and the King who comes in the name of the Lord. He is the long-awaited Messiah-King whose kingdom comes into our lives on a daily basis as we live lives of obedience and faith.
King of Kings: The Messiah Yeshua is King of kings—Melech HaM’lachim (MEH-lekh
HaM’Lakheem). The word Messiah (Mashiach, Mah-SHE-akh) refers to God’s Anointed King. Yeshua is that King, prophesied in Jeremiah 23:5-6, “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, ‘that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness, a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth…now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Adonai Tzid’keinu, Ah-DOE-nai Tzid-KAY-new) [emphasis mine]. (Nov. 2020).
When Pilate asked Yeshua if He was a king, Yeshua answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world…” (Jn. 18:37). King of Israel. King of the Jews. Born a King and worshipped as King.
The coming of Messiah as King is especially associated with His second coming, when He will establish His Kingdom on earth, reigning in righteousness (Micah 4:1-5). Yeshua is pictured in the Book of Revelation, clothed in a robe dipped in blood, with the armies of heaven following Him on white horses. He is coming to rule the nations. “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:16). What a glorious, triumphant day that will be!
The King of kings and eternal life: In September 2000, I wrote about Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai, a very famous and influential rabbi who played a major role in restructuring Judaism after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. Ben Zakkai is the rabbi credited with suggesting that since sacrifices were no longer possible after 70 AD, good deeds (mitzvot, mitz-VOTE) would atone for sin as sacrifices once did. In other words, good deeds replaced atonement through blood (Ben Zakkai’s belief took hold and is the commonly held Jewish belief today.)
The man who revised what the Torah says about atonement in Leviticus 17:11, “for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul,” made a very telling and tearful confession to his disciples on his death bed: “Were I to be brought before a mortal king, who is here today but in the grave tomorrow, who may become angry with me, but whose anger is not everlasting, who may imprison me, but whose imprisonment is not forever, who may kill me, but who can kill only for this world, and who may be bribed, even then would I fear! But now I am led before the King of kings, the Holy One, blessed is He, who lives through all eternity…if He is angry with me, it is imprisonment forever. If he kills someone, that person is dead forever; and I can neither appease him with words, nor bribe him with money. Moreover there are two paths for me: one leading to paradise and one leading to hell. I know not through which I am to be led. Should I not weep?” [We don’t have to weep. We can be sure of eternal life. A King took our place. Yeshua died that we might live (Jn. 11:25-26).]
A new thought on Yom Kippur (Yohm Kee-PUR), the Day of Atonement, beginning the eve of
Sept. 15: “To an earthly king a man goes full and returns empty. To God, he goes empty and returns full.”
Another new thought on Yom Kippur: The day was originally characterized by joyful celebration because Israel’s sins had been forgiven—the sacrifice of the High Priest had been accepted. Brides were also selected on this day. Young maidens danced in white and were chosen on this holiest day of the year. By the time of the Second Temple, fasting was observed as a means of afflicting the soul. Atonement was considered possible through teshuvah (repentance), tefillah (prayer), and tzedakah (charity or giving). I found an interesting scripture, Zechariah 8:19, that says that the day will come when the fast of Yom Kippur will once more be a time of joy and gladness. (Yom Kippur is the “fast of the 7th month.”) “Thus says the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts of the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.” (See Zechariah 8:3 for when this will occur.)
A New Thought on Yom Teruah: Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, begins on the eve of the first day of Tishrei, September 6 this year. Since it occurs at the new moon, when only a sliver of the moon is visible, it was difficult in ancient times to verify the appearance of the new moon and thus know when the feast was to begin. Therefore, two witnesses were required to substantiate its appearance. In case of error, Yom Teruah evolved into a two-day holiday, observed on Tishrei 1 and 2.
The idea of “watching,” originally from “watching” for the new moon, is central to the holiday. There is an emphasis on being spiritually awake and watchful in traditional Judaism. This has a definite New Covenant equivalent: “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thes. 5:6). The shofar calls us to repentance and watchfulness. At a time that only the Father knows (Mark 13:32), the shofar will sound and our Bridegroom / King will return for His bride. “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matt. 24:42).
A New Thought on Tashlich: Tashlich (TOSH-likh) means “you will cast.” It is a ceremony performed by observant Jews on the first afternoon of Yom Teruah. They go to a body of living water such as the ocean, a lake, or a river and recite a prayer called Tashlich, asking God to be merciful and forgive their sins. The prayer is based on verses from Micah 7:18-20, Psalm 118:5-9, Psalm 33 and Psalm 130. Micah 7:19 is the key scripture: “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Observant worshipers “cast” bread crumbs into the water, symbolically “casting” their sin into its depth. (Bread crumbs (leaven) symbolically represent sin). New thought: Water reflects light. The deeper the water, the less light. In the depths of the sea, God no longer sees our sin. We know that in Messiah
Yeshua that deep forgiveness is a reality. (See also Psalm 103:12.)
A new fact about traditional Yom Teruah synagogue services: There are three fundamental sections: 1) Malkiyot (Mahl-kee-YOTE), focusing on kingship and the sovereignty of God, 2) zikharonot (Zeek-row-NOTE), remembrance, focusing on the fact that God remembers His covenants and promises to Israel, and 3) shofarot (show-far-OAT), the blowing of the shofar bringing to memory God’s provision of a ram to Abraham in place of his only son, Isaac.
My files are filled with insights from excellent Bible teachers, both Messianic and Christian, collected over a period of forty-plus years. It was hard to decide what to “borrow” for this newsletter, but if I said, “I like that” to an article, a borrowed jewel made the cut. Borrowed #1: An interesting thought on the Pool of Siloam from which the High Priest with the golden pitcher obtained the water for the Water Libation ceremony of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles (eve of Sept. 20-Sept. 27, 2021). The Pool of Siloam had both an historical and prophetic significance. Its waters were used to anoint the kings of the house of David. That anointing was symbolic of the Holy Spirit coming upon the individual (1 Sam. 16:13). The living waters of Siloam, associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, were a prophetic picture of the outpouring that would take place during the days of the Messiah, the Anointed One, a descendant of King David, through whom salvation would come to Israel. The Pool of Siloam was also known as the “well of salvation,” based on Isaiah 12:3. Thus, to the Jewish people of Yeshua’s day, pouring water on the altar at Sukkot (Tabernacles) was symbolic of the Holy Spirit poured out during the days of Messiah. (Now read John 7:37-39 to understand the depth of Yeshua’s Sukkot proclamation.) Thanks to The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry Holiday Series for this information.
A secret meaning of Sukkot, borrowed from Rachmiel Frydland: “Sukkot is not merely a place or a tabernacle, but a person.” The true sukkah, the true shelter and protection on earth and through all eternity is the Messiah. Rachmiel based this thought on two verses of Scripture: Amos 9:11 and Isaiah 32:1-2. “On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old.” “Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” The sukkah is surely a picture of Yeshua, the Word who became flesh and “tabernacled” among us (Jn. 1:14). (Philippians 2:6, 7 makes a similar declaration.)
Something borrowed from Jonathan Cahn’s Sapphires, “The Autumn Party,” made me smile. Jonathan always has a unique way of looking at Bible truths. “Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, was the greatest feast in Biblical times. One might think that the greatest feast would take place at the beginning of the Hebrew year, or in the spring or summer. But Sukkot took place at the end of the Hebrew year, in the autumn. Why? In the world, the party’s at the beginning, the party of youth and beauty and health and ability. It is at the beginning of life. In the autumn of life, there’s less celebrating because all those things only go downhill.
In God, it’s the opposite. The big party is at the end—in autumn. In other words, God saves the best for last! Things of the world get worse, old, dry, and fade away. The things of God always get better. The peace of God gets more peaceful, the life of God becomes even more alive, the joy becomes more joyful, the fullness of God becomes more full. Throw away the worldly pursuit. Pursue God! Keep going, even if it’s tough—it only gets better with God.”
I wondered what the Lord would come up with for this one! He gave me something “out of the blue” years ago and said that now is the time to share it. When my husband Neil and I moved to our present home, a condominium called Kings Point, with about 8,000 residents, I told Neil that my goal was to put an apostrophe in the word Kings. I was believing God to make it King’s Point. The apostrophe shows possession. In other words, the whole complex would belong to the King (Yeshua). Every time I would share about the Lord with a neighbor, Neil would say to me, “There you go with the apostrophe again!”
For seven years I have labored in a harvest field where my Jewish neighbors have little interest or knowledge of a living God. One day, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Let’s talk about the apostrophe. Look at it. Does it resemble anything?” I saw it: a YUD-the smallest of the Hebrew letters. The “apostrophe” was really a “yud,” and the letter yud has many meanings: God’s essential power, the one God who is indivisible, the hand of God, the method by which the blessing descends from God to His people, the name of God, completeness, wisdom, and the supernatural.
Therefore, following the leading of the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, I will be beginning and co-leading a “Know the Bible Club” in the King’s Point Clubhouse twice a month, beginning on Monday, August 9th, the first day of Elul. I will be teaching on Elul, the shofar, and hearing the voice of God. This is an open door into enemy territory. Considering the letters that I wrote in July and August about “WAR” and exposing demonic spirits, it may not surprise you that “out of the blue,” totally unexpected, cancer has been found in the lymph nodes under my left arm (9 years after having first stage breast cancer).
By the time you receive this letter, I will have had further testing and a complete diagnosis from MD Anderson in Houston and will begin some kind of treatment. I told the Lord that this would be a great time for one of His big miracles so that souls would be saved. (The Jews require a sign.) Please pray and stand with me, my dear family in Yeshua. God has a plan—a good one! He is fighting for me. I am hidden in Him, reciting Psalm 27 daily, especially vs. 5, “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion (Heb. sukkah); in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”
Trusting in God’s unfailing love during this “Month of the King,”